Thursday, October 28, 2010

How we watched birds during the non-migratory period 2010

Enthusiastic bird watchers of ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ community, do not abandon the habit of birding even during the non-migratory period. Since, Sri Lanka facilitate a rich diversity of avifauna, hobby of birding never becomes boring. ‘Sri Lanka Birds’, the community centered database on birds, shows how our bird watchers recorded their observations during the period. Following results are based on the data downloaded on 18th October 2010 for the period from April to September this year.

A total of 59 people who are keen on birds joined with ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ community. FOGSL warmly welcomes our new members and invites them to enjoy the world of birding while contributing to the conservation process of Sri Lankan birds.

Observations (from 1st April to 30th September)
Number of visits (347)
Total Number of Observations (7357)
Number of Species (221)
Number of Endemic Species (21)
Number of Proposed endemic Species (7)
Number of migrant species (32)

Records of Black-necked Stork, Blue-eared Kingfisher and Spot-billed duck are noteworthy observations done during the period. A total of 32 migratory species were recorded, mainly during April and September, which are the endpoints of the season.

Number of nesting observations recorded during the said period was 87. Altogether 44 species were recorded as nesting during the six month interval.

Mostly recorded species (No: of observations)
House Crow (271)
Red-vented Bulbul (253)
Common Myna (248)
White-throated Kingfisher (247)
Spotted Dove (227)

Top five users (No: of observations)
Newton Jayawardane (3843)
Nadika Hapuarachchi (1054)
Amila Sumanapala (791)
Rahula Perera (537)
Chandanie Wanigatunge (496)

Number of locations visited during the period was 107. It covers wide variety of habitats and geographic regions of the island. Most importantly, many visits were from the North and Eastern provinces, which were previously inaccessible to birdwatchers. Thanks to member Newton Jayawardane’s untiring effort to monitor birds in his hometown, the highest number of observations was recorded at Ragama (2744).

Every birdwatcher in the tropical areas is anticipating the migratory season. So it is already started. Time to go out and record birds as much as possible. And while enjoying the world of birds, you can contribute to the conservation of Sri Lankan birds by submitting your data, to the ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ database.

To see current statistics on the number of field visits, number of observations and bird species, as well as the number of users registered in the system, visit the login page of ‘Sri Lanka Birds’.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

State of the World’s Waterbirds: trouble in Asia, recovering in ‘the West’

The rate of decline of waterbird populations has slightly declined over the last three decades. However, 47% of the waterbird populations are still declining and only 16% are increasing. The status of waterbirds improves mainly in North America and Europe, while it is the worse in Asia. Especially long distance migrants appear to be vulnerable.

These are the key findings of the State of the World’s Waterbirds 2010 launched by Wetlands International on 21st October at the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan. This publication analyses the changes in the status of waterbird populations between 1976 and 2005 using the data collected for the four editions of Waterbird Population Estimates published by the organisation since 1994.

Dependent on economical activity and conservation measures the status of waterbird populations is improving in regions where strong conservation legislation is implemented, such as North America and Europe. However, the rate of decline of waterbird populations is increasing in all other regions without such instruments. The situation is especially alarming in Asia where 62% of waterbird populations are decreasing or even extinct. The combination of a rapid economical growth and weak conservation efforts appears to be lethal. Waterbird populations are exposed to a wide range of threats such as the loss and degradation of marshes and lakes, water regulation, agricultural intensification, hunting and climate change.

Download the Book here (5.9MB).